Zelens Triple Action Advanced Eye Cream – Review

imageIt was a sad day when this fabulous eye cream came to an end. For a small little pot (15ml) it lasted me over 5 months of twice daily use. You really only need the smallest amount, and thank goodness for that because it is most definitely a luxury buy at £75 (!!!).

For this reason I would only recommend to those with substantial beauty budgets, or serious concerns for their eye area. My eye area concerns really only extend to hydration and plumping out fine lines and wrinkles, I don’t currently have puffiness or dark circles (probably jinxing it) although I believe this cream is excellent for both of those. As a hydrating eye cream this works wonders and the added silicones act as a great primer for the eye area, making makeup application smooth and easy.

The product is filled with really impressive ingredients including various antioxidants, botanical extracts, hydrating hyaluronic acid, and peptides. One such peptide is a non toxic form of topical botox, encouraging your muscles to relax and move less, therefore reducing the depth of wrinkles and preventing new ones. But don’t let that worry you, the effect is subtle and in no way comparable to getting the real thing! Your face will not be in any way ‘frozen’.  Zelens also have a great section on their website called the Zelens Garden, where they go into a lot of detail about the different plant extracts used, it’s worth a peruse, HERE.

Next up on my radar is to try more Zelens skincare, as well as their new-ish makeup range. Zelens is available from SpaceNK, BeautyBay or their website (among others).

FOR SMALLER BUDGETS…

If you are looking for a good hydrating eye cream to suit a smaller budget, I recommend trying the Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream. It offers lasting hydration that sinks in beautifully and leaves a lovely plump feeling. It contains some excellent ingredients like rosehip oil, coconut oil, hyaluronic acid and cucumber oil to mention just a few – a great product, and only £20 (15ml).

Also great and for a smaller share of your cash is the NUXE Prodigieux Eye Contour (15ml) for £18.50. It contains hyaluronic acid for hydrating, and antioxidants and caffeine for puffiness and dark circles.  NUXE is available on most online beauty sites, as well as M&S , Space NK and independent pharmacies. Oh and this eye cream smells divine!

 

December empties

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This month I have come to the end of some great products, all of which I recommend! (hence the rose petals)

Klorane Shampoo with Flax Fibre for Volume and Texture £6.80 (400ml) HERE

Klorane is a brilliant French pharmacy brand that unfortunately isn’t all that easily available in the UK, but most of the range is available on escentual.com, except this particular product!? But I have found it at a great price on the link above. I have issues in general with most volumising shampoos – you will know I wasn’t the biggest fan of L’Oreal Fibrology – see post HERE, as I feel that generally they don’t have much of an effect. This shampoo however does deliver on the promise of texture. I can definitely feel that my hair has more grip after use (if that makes sense), it’s less silky and slippery and is easier to style – so for me it’s a win. The smell is also AMAZING, and it’s a total bargain!

NUXE Body Contouring Oil for Infiltrated Cellulite, £23.50 at Lookfantastic.com

It’s incredibly difficult to assess the abilities of cellulite busting creams and potions. There are so many other factors that play a role in cellulite proliferation and reduction, including diet, exercise, massage and body brushing (I highly recommend the body brush from ELEMIS, £21) – it’s often hard to isolate what is working. I would suggest going all out with oils/creams/brushing as well as trying to drink loads of water (why not?). The problem is I think booze has an unfortunate negative effect on cellulite – so at the end of the day, if you like a drink like I do, it may be impossible to completely resolve or keep at bay.

Regardless of all that negativity, I really have enjoyed using this oil. It is quite thick in consistency and makes massaging in a real pleasure – you can really have a go! The smell is also really nice and refreshing (grapefruit and cedar), and it leaves the skin feeling toned and moisturised. My only slight reservation is that it doesn’t contain caffeine, but if that is essential for you, you could also try the NUXE Contouring Serum which does – note I haven’t tried this one.

Sanctury Spa Body Butter, £10 at Boots (300ml)

I love the smell of this range, and also use the shower gel and bath foam – LUSH! The body butter is light, but really hydrating (its contains both shea and cocoa butters) and sinks in without leaving too much oiliness on the skin. The texture and fragrance make it feel like a much more expensive product – love.

Shu Uemura Skin Purifier Cleansing oil, £30 at Selfridges

Cleansing oils have been part of my routine for the past 5 or so years, and I couldn’t imagine my bathroom without one! Shu Uemura cleansing oils for me have always been the original oils, and I have loved this oil right to the last drop. Their oils are expensive, but I find them to be incredibly light and emulsify into a beautiful milk, without leaving traces of oiliness or tightness behind – excellent.

I find that cleansing oils are especially fabulous if you have accidentally slept in your makeup (shame on you), or after a particularly long day of wearing make up and sunscreen, as a perfect pre-cleanse.

I am actually going to be trying a new cleansing oil next from South Africa, called Lipodol. The whole skincare range is oil-based, which is a first as far as I know, and will be launching into the UK soon. What is also interesting is that the range is from the makers of Bio-oil, so I have high hopes – I will report back soon!

NOTE that both Shu Uemura and Lipodol are based on mineral oil. For a cleansing product I see no harm in mineral oils being used, although they have recently, and unfairly I think, received a lot of bad press. If you are interested in the mineral oil debate, you can find lots of contradicting info online, but I have put a link here to a piece on Paula’s Choice Beautypedia in case you are interested: Is Mineral Oil Bad for Skin? But that’s only one side of the argument – it’s up to you!

Best Hydrating masks for all budgets

I am constantly on the lookout for products to hydrate my dry skin. I love the feeling of plumped, smooth, relaxed skin, and I love how masks can deliver this fast and easily. In this post I will look at  various hydrating masks at prices to suit all beauty budgets.

First up Glamglows’ ThirstyMud Hydrating Mask, £49.99

I have been wanting to try a Glamglow mask for a while, as everyone seems to be very impressed by them. ThirstyMud is the one in the range that best suits my skin type, although the whole range claims to be for all skin types. Firstly the mask is an opaque light brown colour and the texture seems almost gel/cream-like. It spreads easily over the skin and is immediately cooling with a strong menthol feel and smell. After about 30 seconds I could feel the mask going to work with a quite strong tingling sensation. This and the strong cooling menthol sensation lasted the entire 15 minutes, it’s definitely an active mask.

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Ingredients include hyaluronic acid, coconut oil and apple extract to name a few.  By the end of the 15 minutes I was quite keen to take it off as I found the menthol increasingly overpowering! The mask remains on the skin and doesn’t sink in and disappear , so you really do need to remove it. Once off, although the menthol lingered with me for the next few hours, the results were incredible!
I can honestly say that I have never seen such dramatic results from a cream mask before, the only masks that I have tried that offer such visible results are hydrogel masks (see my post on them HERE).

With Glamglow, my skin appeared visibly brighter, more even and glowing. Even more apparent was the reduction in fine lines and wrinkles. They had definitely smoothed and relaxed, appearing far more shallow. Of course the results aren’t permanent, but for at least the next 24 hours my skin looked and felt bright and youthful.

In my opinion this mask is the most effective hydrating and brightening cream mask (i.e. a mask that you apply to the skin and then remove) that I have tried to date. My only fault would be the excessive menthol. For me it was way too much, and I usually associate products with menthol as being for oilier skin types, rather than for a hydrating product (not that oilier skins don’t need hydration!). That said others may love the menthol, it’s very much a personal preference. Overall a fabulous mask, that is worth the high price tag.

CHANEL SUBLIMAGE Essential Regenerating Mask, £145 at Boots

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Image courtesy of chanel.com

Now this mask is a total splurge! It’s from Chanel’s complete anti-aging Sublimage range, and it is rich and luxurious, as you would expect from Chanel. Ingredients include vanilla extract, argan oil and lotus flower (it smells amazing), all of which result in plump, relaxed and hydrated skin.

I find the best way to use this mask is overnight – when you wake up your skin really does feel amazing – silky smooth and supple. Fabulous mask at a fabulous price. As lush as this mask is, unless you have a very large beauty budget it may unfortunately be out of reach!

NUXE BIO-Beaute Soothing and 24 hour Moisturising mask, €16.20

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I really like the NUXE BIO-Beaute range and the previous BIO-Beaute mask I tried, the Vitamin-Rich Detox Mask (see post HERE) I really enjoyed, so I was looking forward to trying this mask.

The mask has a fine texture and smells amazing, just like sweet clementines. It goes on smoothly and instantly feels cool, soothing and quite refreshing. Once on, it tends to dry and leave your skin feeling a little tight which I felt was a bit odd for a hydrating mask. It contains an impressive list of organic ingredients including clementine, poppy petals, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera and pear seeds – and of course no nasties. After about 20-30 mins (the box suggests only 10 mins, but I prefer to leave it on longer) I massaged the remaining cream into my skin. Instantly the cream seems to turn into a kind of oil and relieves any tight feeling. After removing with a toner (I used diptyque’s Infused Facial Water – which is amazing by the way), my skin felt comfortable and happy, and lightly hydrated. It’s a lovely mask, but the results were not dramatic on my drier skin, so I think it’s more suited to normal skin that is not severely dry.

Overall I do like the mask and will continue to use it at least once a week, but I am not sure that I will repurchase as its not hydrating enough for me. I bought mine at CityPharma in Paris for €13.90, but until the range is available in the UK, you can buy online from Farmaline for €16.20.

Clarins Super Restorative Replenishing Comfort Mask, £55 at Boots

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I am a big Clarins fan and this mask is absolutely gorgeous. The texture of the cream is fine, and the consistency is thick and rich. The smell is also lovely, hard to say exactly what is is, but it definitely reminds me of other Clarins products. Similar to the NUXE above, this mask dried a bit on the skin causing it to feel a little tight. After wiping away however the results are great and my skin feels very soothed and comfortable. I would recommend not rinsing the mask off with water, but rather just wiping off the excess or using a gentle toner to remove. I also recommend sleeping in this mask.

You can buy Clarins Super Restorative Replenishing Comfort Mask at Boots or most department stores.

Sisley Express Flower Gel, £77.50 at johnlewis.com

sisley mask

Image courtesy of johnlewis.com

This mask is a little different, perfect for those who want really fast results, anytime of the day. This is a 3-minute mask. You apply to a cleansed face, leave on for 3 minutes, wipe away (no rinsing with water) and continue with your usual moisturiser/skincare routine. Active ingredients include flower extracts iris, rose, sesame and white lily.

For something that stays on the skin for such a short time, it really does give great results. Skin feels fresh, plump and definitely toned and supple. Makeup goes on smoothly afterwards and skin glows. Its perfect for a quick morning lift if your skin is looking a bit tired and dull, or an absolute skin savior on long haul flights.

Avene Soothing Moisture Mask, £9.75 at escentual.com

avene mask

Image courtesy of avene.co.uk

Avene is a great French brand if you have sensitive to intolerant skin. The whole range is based on their Thermal Spring Water which is known for its soothing and anti-irritating properties. One of my all time favourite face washes comes from Avene and I can’t resist mentioning it: Avene Ultra Rich Soap-Free Cleansing Gel with Cold Cream, £6.80.

Anyways back to the mask. This is a great basic mask that’s good value for money. Its not the kind of mask that you need to wash off – you can just let it sink in (10-15 minutes), massage in the excess and carry on with your routine. It is not an intense moisture surge, but rather soothing and nourishing. The beauty of this mask is that it’s gentle yet effective, fairly priced and will never react with your skin.

Overall a great mask that leaves skin soft, hydrated and very smooth. Although a French Pharmacy brand, Avene products are available in most Boots stores, many independent pharmacies and websites. My favourite place to buy Avene products is Escentual.com because they have a really wide range and often have great offers.

Happy masking 🙂

BIO-Beaute by NUXE: Vitamin-Rich Detox Mask

Until my OTT shopping spree in CityPharma in Paris, I wasn’t even aware that NUXE did an organic range, what a pleasant surprise! BIO-Beaute by NUXE is an organic range designed to be effective and affordable. Although I’m not too concerned about organic or non-organic, the promise of active fruit extracts is very appealing! I restricted myself to buying only 2 products which was difficult as the whole range looks amazing. I was particularly in the market for masks, so I bought the Vitamin-Rich Detox Mask and the Smoothing and 24Hr Moisturizing Mask with Clementine Cells. The moment I got back to London I tried the detox mask (perfect post-holiday).

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This mask is a little different to most that I have used before. The mask is technically catagorised as a cleanser and goes through 3 stages; gel, oil and milk. The idea is that you spread the gel onto your skin and leave for 5 minutes, then you massage into your skin, at which point the gel turns into an oil, and finally you rinse with warm water and the oil turns into a rich milk. The consistency is thick, and reminds me a bit of honey. It goes onto the skin nicely and spreads easily to cover the face – I only used as much as is shown on my finger and it was enough. Warning – although most masks aren’t glamourous, I looked particularly scary with this on!

The smell of oranges is lovely and strong (it contains orange water), so lovely that I must admit I had to taste it too, and it tastes quite nice! The gel is cooling and comfortable. When I started  massaging it in, it quickly turned to oil with the heat of my hands, and when it touched water it became the whitest, richest milk I have ever seen with a skincare product. Afterwards my skin felt clean, fresh and radiant. I am looking forward to using this mask at least once a week, and I think I am going to try to keep it on my skin for much longer next time as it’s super cooling and the citrus scent is energising.

Unfortunately for us in the UK, BIO-Beaute by NUXE products are not available here, but you can find the whole range and other French Pharmacy brands on Farmaline here, where this mask goes for € 17,91 and next day delivery to the UK for an additional € 5,95. I bought mine from CityPharma in Paris for € 13,90, so in my opinion a brilliant value-for-money buy.

 

NUXE Crème Fraîche de Beauté

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Having dry/dehydrated  skin, combined with the cold London winter and central heating, I am in need of some serious moisture. Luckily, french pharmaceutical brand NUXE’s Crème Fraîche de Beauté promises 24 hour moisturisation, so I put it to the test.

PACKAGING

The cream comes in a 50ml glass tub (pictured), which feels heavy and really premium. For those who prefer tubes, the cream also comes in a 30ml plastic tube (less chance of contamination and lighter for traveling).

FRAGRANCE

The smell is wonderful and fresh, and very botanical – just take a look at the list of ingredients. It is definitely one of the best smelling face creams I have ever used, and the fragrance is all natural – which I prefer.

TEXTURE

The texture is rich, dense and very creamy. It goes on super smoothly, and sinks in quickly without leaving any sort of greasy layer. I feel it instantly refreshes the skin, leaving it feeling plump and hydrated for the whole day – no reapplication necessary. This is a perfect cream to start the day off with – a sensory treat.

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS

Aloe Vera Sap, Salicornia, White almond, Macademia Nut oil, Shea Butter, Orange Flower and 8 different types of plant milk

CONCLUSION

Overall I love this product and look forward to using it everyday, in fact I have already bought myself another tub along with more NUXE products to test out. Crème Fraîche de Beauté ticks all the boxes for me, even though my skin isn’t particularly sensitive. There are also variants for dry and combination skins, but unless you are chronically dry, I think the normal should do the job.

Keep an eye out for more NUXE reviews coming soon.

WHERE TO BUY – £25 for 50ml tub

http://www.escentual.com/nuxe/ (keep an eye out on here for great deals)

https://uk.nuxe.com/

http://www.marksandspencer.com/c/beauty/nuxe

http://uk.spacenk.com/nuxe/